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My Atypical Scabies Symptoms: Unusual Signs of Mites That Doctors Don't Recognize

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My husband and I had a yearlong battle with scabies, one that doctors failed to recognize because it did not "fit the picture."

Are your scabies symptoms abnormal? Hopefully my story can help.

Are your scabies symptoms abnormal? Hopefully my story can help.

What Are Scabies and What Do They Look Like?

Scabies is a condition resulting from parasitic mites that infest human skin. They are contracted through contact with an infected person, be it as intimate and prolonged as sexual intercourse or as brief as picking up a child at a daycare facility. The scabies mite is usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. In other words, you can get scabies from even the most casual contact with a stranger—provided they have scabies.

The mites are very small and cannot be easily seen with the naked eye. You probably won't see scabies crawling on your skin; you will only see the symptoms. Their burrow marks are often visible as curvy, grayish lines on the skin. Rashes or pimple-like bumps resembling bug bites may also be present.

Healthcare professionals look for evidence of scabies between the fingers and toes, across the shoulder blades, in the armpits, along the inner elbows and insides of the wrists, around the breasts, waist, genitals, buttocks, and knees, as well as on the soles of the feet. The widespread belief within the healthcare community holds that scabies mites largely avoid the face and scalp. It is also a common belief that these mites are too small to elicit a crawling sensation on the skin, although the body's immune response to the mite, and to the feces and eggs it deposits in its burrow, leads to severe itching.

What Scabies Might Look Like

What Scabies Might Look Like

Misdiagnosed Mites: Doctors Don't Always Recognize Scabies

The above may indeed describe the typical presentation of a scabies infestation, but sometimes scabies do appear on the face and scalp, and sometimes they do cause a tickling, crawling sensation.

My husband and I had a yearlong battle with the scabies mite, one that doctors failed to recognize because our scabies did not "fit the picture."

First, we did not itch at all. In fact, the first odd sensation that both my husband and I felt was a tickle in the nose that simply would not go away, scratch as we may. It persisted for days and then weeks, and finally, an entire year. We also periodically felt an ever-so-slight weight landing on our eyelashes, as though someone had blown a handful of dust in our faces. I had a few bumps on the outer parts of my arm that looked and felt like pinpricks, but my husband had none. We both felt a crawling sensation across our feet and on our legs at various times throughout any given day. The doctors said the symptoms did not resemble scabies and that we should not worry about it. When the symptoms persisted, they even suggested the problem might be in our minds.

So instead of being diagnosed and treated for scabies, we were told it was all in our heads. A suggestion of 'delusional parasitosis' by more than one doctor would seem rather inappropriate given that two individuals with no history of mental illness began experiencing dermatological symptoms within the same week.

What this experience has taught my husband and me is that doctors aren't always right.

When You Think You Have Scabies—But the Doctors Don't

There are seemingly hundreds, if not thousands, of folks out there in cyberspace searching for an explanation for crawling sensations and itchy bites that appear to arise from an invisible culprit. Perhaps we are not the only ones the doctors have misdiagnosed.

After year of suffering unnecessarily, only to discover that the doctors were wrong, my husband and I realized we needed to share our story and offer more accurate information on scabies symptoms.

If this happens to you, you'll have to work harder to help the doctors help you.

Tracking Down the Scabies Culprit

Because we knew it was not all in our heads, we had to find other ways to discover what the invisible culprit was. We began taping our skin whenever we felt a crawling sensation in the hopes of finding something under a microscope. We pressed scotch tape to the spot where we felt something, hoping to collect evidence on the tape. It took a long time to find any proof because these mites spend most of their time under the skin, but we eventually got lucky. We put the tape under the microscope and saw what looked like a mite. We took a picture of what we found and sent it to a mite expert for identification.

The tickling and crawling sensations we felt on our bodies, including our faces, were indeed caused by scabies. A simple Permethrin treatment got rid of the mites after an entire year of suffering, although the treatment drug causes its own immune reaction that sometimes feels as though the parasites are back. We've been told now by others who have had this reaction to the Permethrin that the immunological reaction eventually goes away, but can take months. In any case, it is not nearly as annoying or worrisome as the mysterious mite symptoms, so we are happy.

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Read More From Patientslounge

Scabies Mite

Scabies Mite

Common Dust Mite with slightly more elongated body shape, for comparison

Common Dust Mite with slightly more elongated body shape, for comparison

Diagnosing Scabies and Educating Your Doctor

Worldwide, approximately 300 million people have scabies at any one time. Given the persistence of this parasite and the lack of knowledge on this subject that seems to be pervasive throughout the healthcare community, one can imagine how we feel when we come across the pleas for help posted online by others with similar symptoms going undiagnosed. My suggestion to anyone experiencing unexplained itching, rashes, bumps, crawling or tickling on any part of the body, including the face, is to at least consider scabies. And if your doctor will not cooperate due to a lack of evidence implicating this culprit, find another doc who has more experience with these and other parasites.

Not everyone has the time, energy, resources, or patience to take tape samples, find a microscope, enlist the help of an expert, and visit multiple doctors. However, we're hoping that by sharing our story everyone, including those in the medical profession, might learn something from our experience.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


NotImpossible on July 17, 2020:

Dear Soapbubbles, I've been using Benzyl Benzoate for many months to treat the dreaded S word. It's efficacy is "slow" if I can put it that way, the truth is that nothing works quickly when you've had scabies for a long time. I have read that eggs can be buried up to 10mm under the skin. No lotion is going to deal with that depth quickly. In between the Benzyl Benzoate, I've just started using a lotion I made up. Put about a cup of body lotion, I'm using Nivea, about 3-4 tablespoons of powdered organic sulphur, and about 3-4 capfuls from a bottle of 90% Lactic Acid. Mix it up, and massage well after shower. I noticed the next day, eggs I thought were gone, coming up to the surface of the skin. You can buy wooden sticks used for waxing, cheap from ebay, to "scrape" skin after showering. Press quite hard, yes, it's uncomfortable, but things will come off of your skin. I do this everyday.

Be mindful that if you have any new bumps or sores, the lactic acid will sting, so be careful I take Ivermectin horse paste, by a brand called Equimec, once a week, as this brand is just Ivermectin and nothing else. I'll contine with this program until the wretched things are gone, either way it's a slow process. I find the laundry and cleaning very burdensome on top of the treatments as well.Do go to a fabulous website called Maximpulse, this guy has done all the research on scabies. I have read you can use Benzyl B long term without it losing it's efficacy. Hope this helps with your battle.

Soapbubbles on April 21, 2020:

Hello! I am planning on sharing my story later when I have time to write it all down, but for now I am wondering (in case anyone still checks these comments) if anyone has any experience with benzyl benzoate as a treatment and if those experiences are good or bad? I doubt you will see this @Chikonahoka but I am wondering what treatment(s) you used? And if you know exactly what types of treatment that strain of scabies are resistant to?

I am fairly certain that the benzyl benzoate is working in my case, but as most people here in these comments used permithrin I can't be sure. So I would very much appreciate any input.

Chrismdc on September 16, 2019:

Canola Oil was my unknown problem for many years since 2008 in Austrlalia, i was itchy with the feeling of invisable bugs landing and crawling on me, i had sores on my legs that i must of scratched open during the night, when it first started i thought it was mould, demodex ect and any straw that could be the answer, until food was looked at as a possible cause, it seemed that the attacks were intermittant and through elimination diets i got some relief when certain foods were avoided eg brocolli, cauliflower and mustard but i would still get out breaks until the link to Canola oil was found, which is nearly every processed food and some unprocessed through contamination, they are all from the same botanical family " brassica" so for anyone fighting invisable bugs try avoiding "hard to do" Canola oil and brassica family, PS if a food manufacture uses canola oil in there factory for other products it is most likely the food that isn't labled with a canola oil ingredient is contaminated, if it is labelled attal.

Chikonahoka on March 27, 2019:

I have exactly what you described. Not even the dermatologist at a fancy hospital was interested in an atypically manifestation of scabies. Do you know how I got microscope images of the mites? From my hairdresser of all people. This is why people are losing trust in professionals.

Luckily my best friend is a doctor and I have biology training and we worked it out from reading scabies journal papers. We also learned that in the region I was traveling through, there are scabies strains discovered that are resistant to conventional treatment. So now I’m in long-term treatment based on my friend’s advice, but at this stage it’s hard to tell if the crawly sensation is a revival of the scabies or just my body’s random reactions. So your experience helps.

martinsedition on September 30, 2018:

Hello Original Poster,

Do you have hyperthyroidism or any autoimmune disorder by any chance? I just discovered I may have an autoimmune disorder, and that could be why it took so long for the itch to show up. Or maybe the scabies (if it is) triggered my autoimmune disorder that was not yet a disorder before to develop.


martinsedition on September 20, 2018:


Thank you for sharing your experience. Have you thought of asking your doctor, the doctor who diagnosed you with scabies, to write about your experience to a national medical database or something? Because it seems like none of the doctors I have visited have encountered a case like yours. If every doctor in the country knew to look for scabies, even if there was no symptom of itching, that would be helpful. Because then doctors wouldn't keep dismissing me.

My symptoms started around August 2017. The only symptom I had was that it felt like there was something on the back of my neck. It just felt like dirty (I do shower daily, so it's not because I don't shower. Sometimes if I don't go out, I won't shower for that day but this has been a habit of mine since I was young). It just felt uncomfortable, very mildly.

It wasn't only until April 2018, did I start itching. And my itching is not severe at all. I've read horror stories about scabies online; ppl say that the itch drives them mad.

I do not itch daily. I would really liken my itch severity to that of a mosquito's bite itch. It doesn't quite feel like a mosquito's bite itch, but the severity is around that of a mosquito's bite itch.

One time, when I had the cold or the flu, the back of my neck felt, I don't know how to describe it, hurt. It just felt like something was wrong. Like I felt like I wanted to clean my neck really well.

Where I itch: ear, belly button area, butt, hand, around breast area, back of neck.

I have no visual rashes, like you. Nothing. Except for the mild "eczema" that a dermatologist noted around my belly button area. (The dermatologist said it was eczema.)


General information:

I am female, Asian. mid 20's.

I do not use perfume, or makeup. I have never used makeup daily. I tried makeup once when I was a younger teen and that was that.

Cleaning products, my mother has been using the same cleaning products for years now. Same laundry detergent as well. My mother likes to buy the same things if it works.

I've had a privileged life (in terms of medical conditions) (aside from head lice I had when I was a kid), so that's why I'm surprised I'm experiencing itchiness out of nowhere. Like I never had to see a dermatologist or a specialist for anything, fortunately. The only times I did go to the doctors were to get a vaccine or to get an annual check up, thankfully.

I have not had any change in my personal care or cleaning products. I use the same shampoo and body wash.

No change in diet.

I do not wear jewelry.

I do not use drugs like cocaine or meth. I do not use any drugs. I do not drink or smoke.

I do not have eczema or a history of skin conditions.


I'm not sure what I'm supposed to. I have been to a PCP, and two dermatologists, and all three doctors said it's nothing. Because I don't have any visual rashes, I really can't blame them.

I really do pray that it's nothing because I live with family and I do not want to pass anything onto them. I have read about delusional parasitosis but I do not fit the profile of the usual patient who has delusional parasitosis.

What should I do? :(

It also took me a while to find this article, so it probably was out of pure luck that I found it.

Around Nov 2017, I had written in my journal, "feels like eggs are laying". I had not heard of scabies at that point. I didn't even know what to search for at that point. Because what would I type into google? I didn't itch. I didn't had any rashes. I thought that whatever it was, it was just nothing, and it would go away in time.

RANDALL Lufkin on September 09, 2018:

I've been dealing with scabies for allmost a year I have gone to the hospital at least 9 times a few times that gave me a cream permathin it did work for a very short time I went to the. Hospital yesterday and the doctor said it was a rash when I read that was hisDIAGOSIS I wonted to say you shouldn't even be a doctor I have done everything that you should do be cause I have a low amun situm also in 60 I have documentation and have read so much about this I have them on both arms legs feet I also have had them on my face forhead I don't have much hair they been in my ears shoulders i have dug them from under my finger Nails but when the doctor said it was a rash didn't give m any cream I showed him on my arm we're I could feel them crawling this morning to hey multalplyed I'm really depressed a and can't deal with this any more I really need help I can't deal with this any longer Randy. I haven't found anyone to help me if I can't I can't deal with this e longer thanks Randy.

barbara on July 03, 2018:

well i am grossed out.

Parul on March 16, 2018:

My husband same thing, I trying watch

BRANDY on December 02, 2017:

all my friends and family say im crazy because I do partake in drug use plus I have insomnia so I'm just nuts because of these other issues i have but I bet my life that something is under my skin and on top of my skin i thought bed bugs at first untill i noticed i think they are not only on top but under my skin ive tried to catch some on top of my skin by picking them off I've also used a needle to kind of try to get the ones that are underneath my skin out kind of like if you had a splinter they're not visible all the time it's almost like they come to the surface every once in awhile and when they do mostly it's in my hands my hands go numb and when I try to get them I can almost see them just barely escaping as I'm trying to get them I'm scared to go to to the doctor because they put me in a padded room I'm at the point now where I'm like actually crying because I don't know what to do I don't know what they are and it's freaking me out and grossing me out I want it to go away stop I almost wish I was crazy rather than knowing there's something under my skin but before I go to the doctor talking about my hands go numb and there's something crawling around under my skin I need to have some kind of proof some kind of evidence because everyone that I show so there's nothing there I'm just very nervous and scared somebody please tell me what to do to help me how do I identify what this problem is

Karen Ross on September 10, 2017:

I still am working on my hair. But a big help has been to use plastic gloves an boil all my cloths.

Not just wash in hot water, I put a big pan on my stove an soak my cloths an bed sheets in the boiling water. I use my kitchen sink, Then wash. I do the sheets an clothe everyday. Buy week 3 it has been remarkable. I have not quit yet, I do not trust it yet because my scalp is in my view is not done yet. I am over 65. I got the cream on ebay.

Witsend on August 24, 2017:

LM. I have the exact same problem you had and your post was two years ago. I wanted to know if you've solved it and if so, how? Please message me back!

Thank you!

Lminnoe on August 19, 2017:

I used hiboclens. Working very well so far. Also menthol nasal mist for creepis in nose

Ola on July 30, 2017:

for scabies the best treatment is- dry the infected skin with blow dryer, it kils them instantly and its not itching anymore.Its easy and the best remedy. Also hot shower. Every time you feel the itch blow dry the skin. It will take about 1-2 weeks to get read of them. For the private areas ( inside vagina) the best is hot shower -every time you feel you need to scratch, on the begining it will be 3-4 times a day later -one,twice a day. After shower put the benzyl bazyle. - also inside vagina.

Lynne on July 03, 2017:

I caught scabies from my parents after my father had been in a care facility for dementia. We brought him back to my moms house and had two of the carers from the facility to look after him. My mom started scratching but the doctor said it was just nerves and stress. My dad passed away 2 months after being back home and my mom had developed a rash. The doctor still said it was caused by stress. My mom asked the carer why she was also scratching and she said it was scabies and everyone at the care facility had it. My mom called me to let me know and said she was seeing a doctor to get onto meds. I went to see my doctor and I got the Benzoate cream which she said was really good and first line treatment in South Africa. I used it for 2 weeks and I found it wasn't really helping. I felt a crawling feeling in my nose and eyelashes and my head, also my back and tummy. I also found that my skin was burning it was hard to use above the neck and genital area, I would end up trying to wash it off. I found a supplier of the premitherin cream so ordered that and I have been using it 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks. I use sulphar soap daily to shower and wash my hair. My hair is like straw but I can feel those little things moving at night and still on my face. I am still getting little pin like bites on my body neck and chest. I am so worried about passing it on to my family. I stay on my own chair in the lounge sleep alone in the spare room and have very little skin contact at all with anyone. I hardly even touch my cat or dogs, they all look so sad because they are used to lots of attention. I am seeing a skin specialist in a few days time and hopefully after a skin scrape we can find out what is happening. I am lucky that living where we live I have a cleaner who comes in 3 days a week so everything get a very good clean. otherwise all my stuff is bagged as I use it and washed separately from the rest of the family.

My mom who stays on her own is still struggling with this dreadful disease, I think it must have something to do with our immune systems.

Neglected Scabies Patient on June 22, 2017:

I walked up one morning with my right arm and hand swollen and being unable to move my fingers. The lower level of my left arm was itchy and showed signs of a very tick rush under my skin. I also felt crawling of something inside my eyes, my ears and my nose. I never had any rash before, neither suffered of allergies. I was concerned about the swelling and made with my doctor. my doctor was unavailable, but his replacement saw me, he hardly looked at my swollen arm and rash, but he ordered blood test for liver, kidneys and thyroid..he told me to make an appointment with my doctor for when he was scheduled to return to office, he ignored my symptoms,period. Managed to get an appointment with my physician, but only 2 weeks after my initial consultation.

Because the rash, swollen arm and hand, biting, persistent itching of my head and feelings insect crawling continued, I visited a walk in clinic and was seen by a nice physician who referred me within same clinic to an allergist. The allergist was an older gentleman and at my request he performed the skin test for bed bugs, flees, etc. The test results were negative,reluctantly he tested me at my request for mites, since I explained to the good doctor, that I look at my skin as it is being bitten by some kind of invisible insect that no matter what I do, I cannot see the insect, it was microscopic, well, we awaited 15 minutes after the scratch test and said and done, the 3 scratches he made and in which he applied the serum for mites, immediately risen, the allergist said I had scabies He prescribed Perm 5% cream and the good doctor left for holidays, therefore, there was no way to return to doctor and besides, the allergist seems to be advance in age, semi retired, has not his own practice and only sees patients for a few hours once every week.

I did the treatment as prescribed, my house is clean, clean clean. I have always been clean. I wash my hands often and as help. On my own, I repeated treatment once more, but had to use 2 tubes of cream, because one tube would not cover my entire head area that now was fully covered, the scabies had spread after the first treatment.

As I continued feeling ill, I visited a local hospital at the ER, after awaiting for nearly 4 hours I was seen by the physician, I explained I had been tested positive for scabies, I was suffering and needed his medical help. I showed him the letter from the allergist explaining I had been diagnose with scabies and that medication was not working for me and to please prescribe oral medication, he pretty well kicked me out of the hospital and told me he did not see any skin rash or swollen areas, he prescribed antihistamines an cream..the hospital staff seemed very interested at not acknowledging the fact I had scabies,you see, hospitals need to follow a certain protocol within the institution in order to avoid infestations, that requires paper work and nobody wants to be the one stuck at filing forms, etc.

I left the ER and went straight to drugstore, when the pharmacist saw me he right away said: what ever happened to you? you have a bad rash and you are swollen,you see, every body could see how bad my skin was.

More than 2 weeks had passed since my initial discovery of scabies until I was able to be seen by my family physician, when he he saw me he refused to see the scabs on my head, he did not even look at the rash on arm and other parts of the body the scabies had moved to and he bluntly told me that I had no scabies because scabies do not go onto peoples heads. He offered me to be sent to a dermatologist, but I awaited, waited and waited and he never did! During the visit he was very uncaring and callous as he had never been, he pretty well told me to go to the allergist, since he is the one that made diagnosis, he was just a physician and he did not know anything to do with scabies. A licensed physician who studied medicine to treat and cure pretty well all illnesses..he did not want anything to do with a person with scabies..I explained to him I contracted with scabies from my real estate clients that were both blind and handicapped and that I had repeated close skin contact with them by way of wrapping my arm around their arm to assist and guide them were to walk with their cane, I explained to doctor I was ignorant to the fact they did carry scabies with them and that pretty well had met and visited their residence many times during the last six months. My clients were clearly negligent at not disclosing their scabies infestation

In total I have been seen by 4 dermatologist, 1 allergist and 7 physicians in their offices and Toronto Hospitals, only 1 allergist and 1 Dermatologist acknowledge I have scabies, the rest are literally useless by not educating themselves, they say I do not fit the general criteria of a patient with scabies because my head is infested, these doctors are totally negligent to the point of causing great unnecessary suffering and distress to patients. They seem not to want anything to do with patients with scabies, period. Honest to goodness, they do not even bother in looking at your skin, they do not make eye contact, they do not want their offices and themselves to have the infestation. Nobody is prescribing the oral medication because they have to fill a form and complete a survey about the patient, I have been tempted to pay them to complete the form and recommend the medicine for me, doctors really don't care about patients, they just care about quickly billing, it is sad, but true. I have never seen so much uncaring and lack of compassion. The allergist who made the diagnose is a nice older gentleman, he did the test that all the other 11 doctors I consulted with are literally laughing about, these doctors do not continue to educate and inform themselves to current conditions, deceases infestations, medications and the potential resistance to some medications.

It is funny because my doctor has been very helpful, caring and compassionate in the past, but not this time, you can pretty well see the difference and patient care for those with scabies. pretty well the patient with scabies is stigmatized, maybe because the infestation is through sexual contact. By being compassionate and caring for people I thought needed my help I was infected with scabies. I cared about my clients, but they obviously hated me, since they were aware of having scabies and knew how much suffering scabies bring into people's life by their own experiences,clients were evil by not letting me know in advance of their situation so that I could still be kind to them, but would have taken proper necessary precaution to protect myself and keep healthy. Now I know that misery loves company and no matter how much money you have, some people envy the good health of others, my good health was taken away.

I have been unable to work or earn my living for two months, I am a Realtor, if I don't work, how can I survive? My clients are multi millionaires and handicapped with blindness and confined to a wheel chair. I was really kind to them, but they have caused so much harm to me with their negligent uncaring attitude. Their behavior is on the verge of being criminal, they pretty well are endangering others by spreading such a horrific health condition and the doctors do not help any better....I will loose my home. On my own I have ordered the oral medication on line, I am waiting, waiting and does not arrive, I have done additional 2 treatments by using 2 tubes of the 5% Perm cream for each application, one tube is not enough to cover my body from head to toes, my skin has been destroyed, I cannot sleep, the crawling inside my yes, nose, ears and my body does not cease, but is more disturbing at night, when is overcast or when I turn lights off. I have lost 20 pounds in 2 months, medication don't work and basically have no life but clean, clean, clean. have washed, wrapped my couch, have discarded my good furniture, I sit in one chair. Let's care more for others, let's not be negligent.

Kelsey on June 21, 2017:

This post completely saved my life. My situation is such a complicated one because I AM an addict in recovery; so of course when i start talking about bugs and itching and obsessing- everyone I thought was close to me turned away with the thought that I was lying. And the urgent care doctor didn't help either- and she literally was reading the symptoms on google. I tried to tell her through panic and tears (I am sleep deprived, frustrated and emotional to begin with) that she should double check. Of course she just dismissed the few lines that were visible as "scratches". There's nothing that drives me crazier than doctors undermining self-awareness and uh... THE INTERNET. As the nurse showed herself- you can diagnose yourself by finding your symptoms online. I am in tune with my body albeit exhausted, and I know what is a scratch, scar, stretch mark or random burrow that doctors fail to see. Just because she has a nursing degree, she single-handedly made me question my own SANITY. My friend was there who unfortunately didn't speak up much so I was left the center of the circus. I keep asking people if was indeed going crazy and I think I'm screwed either way. So I know what i feel and see, I know I'm sober (yet insane right now) and I just home the cream will help tonight. Thanks for your words and encouragement.

Gettingovermites on June 20, 2017:

Benzoyl benzoate works and the cdc even recommends it. It can be bought over the counter at med lab supply or Texas med supply both online

Diana Deiter on June 15, 2017:


Robert on June 09, 2017:

I have linesall the way around my scalp going inti ears deporing a glass like crust for 4 yrs. Now i hardly ever itch

Robert on June 06, 2017:

For 4 yrs ive jad lines appearing all over my head face, arms ,and legs ; i squeeze matter out of this deep lines in mu fsce and body and a sharp clear. Hairs that look like glass never stops coming out i dont know what is wrong with me i hardly evet itch, but i do feel something biting me

Anonymous on June 04, 2017:

Your article pretty well describes my symptoms, my situation and feedback from the medical community.

My problem began approximately 2 months ago with the exactly crawling feelings on my eye lashes, inside my eyes, nose, ear and a bit on my head. I also experienced the feeling as if a sudden feathery wind descended upon my face carrying microscopic crawling insects that I could feel crawling on my eye lids, lashes, nose, ears and inside of my eyes. It seemed as if a hand fist of pollen, etc. was thrown at my face, arms, legs and other parts of my body.

At first I though maybe I had bed bugs and very carefully stripped my bed and could not see any spotting signs of blood or signs of bed bugs. I am very clean, I reside on the 25th floor of a new condo building. I look for any signs of flees and other bugs, I found nothing. I decided to remove my nice oriental rugs, unnecessary clothing, furniture, etc. and donated them to charity. I rewashed all my linens and clothing in maximum hot water, dried properly and stored all items in plastic sealed bags. washed all cupboards, closets, walls, windows, vertical blinds, dishes and got rid of all kitchen suplies..I was exhausted, pretty well it took me two full weeks to clean everything from floor to ceiling..I even remove original mattress cover including three mattress covers that I had covered my new mattress with..the itching and the same crawling sensation continued.

Once I took care of the inside of my place, I went to my family doctor, he was on holidays and I was seen by another doctor, I explained my situation, showed him the rush on my arm, my head and wrist, but he did not even bother looking at it, he ordered blood test of kidney, liver, thyroid, etc....blood test results were normal, nothing out the ordinary..he suggested I see my doctor when back from his holidays, which was in 2 weeks time. My symptoms persisted, I could not sleep at all, therefore I went to the emergency Clinic at a local hospital with my arm all swollen and with rush. The doctor told me he could see nothing on my arm and that my problem was an allergic reaction, he hardly took the time to listen to my symptoms and to examine me, he prescribed Benadryl . When I went to purchase Benadryl at the drugstore, the pharmacist inmediately said to me: What happened to you? look at your arm, what is that rush? you are are swollen! I felt validated.

I proceeded to take benadryl, it made me sleepy which was wonderful, but soon I realized that the itchiness and crawling feeling was keeping me awake although I was drowsy and sleepy I just could not sleep, my problem was worst.

I decided to go to a well known dermatologist with days after going to the hospital because my problem persisted and I wanted to to cure the problem and not just sleep on it.

The dermatologist spent maximum 1 minute with me, he did not care to see the scratches and marks on my head and he quicky said it was eczema. He prescribed heavy duty antihistamines and hydro cortisone cream to spread over the body and to put on top of cortisone vaseline. Imagine! all covered with the greasy concoctions and dozed off from the pills and still the pinching sensations with crawling sensation, was all dosed up, but could not sleep,

Went back to my family doctor and he told me to stop taking the 6 -20MG tablets of antihistamine and reduce to 1 tablet before going to bed and to discontinue cortisone cream, because it was only meant to be used in small areas of body and not the whole body....I asked him to test me for scabies and also to prescribe me medication for scabies , because I had the feelings that is what I had...without investigating and without checking my head and getting close look at the rush, he said: No way! you do not have scabies! is allergy!

Well, my problem continued, I visited dermatologist twice, my family doctor and his replacement twice, visited two hospitals, visited two walking clinics an nothing!

On my second visit to dermatologist, I told him I had discontinued using the cortisone cream and recuced his plls to one a day instead of 6 a day at the advice of my family doctor and also because my symptoms persisted without any help and to please test me for scabies. He said I will give you some new medication, but when I saw the prescription he was prescribing TETRACYCLINE which is to treat bacterial infection. .When I asked why TETRACYCLINE, he said: Your symptoms do not fit the symptoms of scabies. You never find scabies on a person's head!! Simple as that! No test, no close look at my head, nothing! Well, I did not buy the medication, but I went to visit an Allergist who on the spot did a skin test for all kinds of insects including lice, bed bugs, fleas, mites and BINGO!

All tests for all insects was negative with the exception of MITES, he said: Look! That is the poop of the mites in your body! YOU DO HAVE SCABIES!!!!!

The moral of the story is that Doctors nowadays only seem to care about amazing fortunes, it is not like the olden days that one single doctor took care of all the deceases of the general population of small town. Nowadays, doctors can't be bother to investigate, care or try to learn out of the ordinary deceases and do not learn to listen to the patients, doctors are quick brush you off and are not very good learners. Pretty well, doctors practice on us with all the medications they prescribe to us without due investigations of patient's symptoms, that is why doctors have MEDICAL PRACTICES, they practice on us, their patients, and we pay highly for them practicing on us, sometimes causing a high degree of anxiety, unnecessary suffering and stress.

I suggest you to visit an allergist or immunologist to properly test you and accurately discover the reasons of your symptoms.

Jo on June 03, 2017:

What a nightmare, insane itching for 3 years. Sulfur soap and sulfur ointment seemed to be the cure. I can't be sure, because I had also taken a dose of oral ivermectin as well.

bubbasix on May 27, 2017:

@AnAn Have the same veins here too...

Signs and symptoms for me have dissipated substantially after 4 treatments of Iver and 4 treatments of Perm in about a month month and 1/2 time from.

I have done it all. My combo is to treat with Iver (no food 1 hr before and after) on day1 of treatment and day 2 with Perm (head to toe) wearing socks with jammies/ sweat pants and shirt, leaving for 12hrs total no -/+.

I wash with water in the shower and then while still in the shower I wash with sulfer soap (Grisi Bio Sulfur Soap @target) wet no water running covered head to toe in the soap for 3 - 5 minutes.

I have Diabities 2 for which I just lost 30lbs and went on a no simple sugar diet, just dates bananas and no processed food - prior to the scabies symptoms occurring, also had a 6 mon period with extreme stress. I live alone and have no real social structure.

While at the hospital for this on one occasion, late a night I realized my symptoms were non-existent/ noticed the noise and all the people in the ER, looked up loneliness and itching/ diabetes and itching (lots of info).

Could this be in my head and my psyche in mfg symptoms, not sure. I find little black specs on my skin congruent with others on the web and I have the veins you mentioned. I had had a rash on my chest initially on the on set.

I use Dr. Bonner's Hemp soap (@Target) as a regular soap and lufa with Bathery "3 boost" exfoliating clothe, clean my house full time for 30+ days, found black specs everywhere on everything (those are gone) in the beginning.

I also wash all clothing, towels sheets everything after I use it with borax and laundry soap. I have done countless bleach baths, borax and Vinegar Apple Cider baths.

I have went away for 3+ days on two occasions, the last one I sunned in 105º weather, I fried these suckers and caught an awesome tan. Nothing "survives" in your home without human contact after 72hrs, according to the experts.

I still feel a little itchy, but the symptoms are way down, lots of lotion (Palmer's Cocco Butter) and it seems to help.

In the beginning from 3pm to 4am it was night of the living dead with no rest till 4:01am.

Now I am still struggling, but there is significant improvements. I am able to sleep again

This is not an advertisement for product, just my own journey.


AnAn on May 24, 2017:

forgot to mention that the stings and itch (and yes the red dots) sometimes occur on my torso and stomach. more rarely on my back, but the neck - esp. the back of neck - would have faint itch every few days.

i am very pale and you can see all my veins, but recently esp. around the jaws, i can see faint purplish red lines like spider veins around my upper arms and lower cheeks.

AnAn on May 24, 2017:

hi Samoa6,

it would be great if someone can help to advise my on this matter.

i am a 27 y.o. fem, single, with aversion to sexual contact and work in relatively subdued environment. the only time i got into a crowded place was the subway these days.

on going for about 5-6 weeks now i started getting this random crawling/faintly ticklish sensations at random (it does not get worse at night that i know of and not entirely sure if hot shower aggravates them). the amount of crawling sensation decreases somewhat compared to 6 weeks ago (which was at its most intense when i first notice it that i keep checking my skin every 3 minutes)

my mother, who lives in a separate country, shows the same symptoms when she got out of the hospital from dengue but i did not come into contact with her until after i got these symptoms.

i started to get a stinging sensation, most prominently on my arms and occasionally between my fingers and my legs. it does feel like pinprick and sometimes i saw ONE or at most TWO red dots that will slowly swell into a mosquito like bite and disappears in 15 minutes (completely, no marks left). the most i have it happens is about 5 times a day. it is itchy when it happens but they are not unbearable by any means.

my itch spells are periodic and faint and completely random, on some days i go for hours without any particular sensation, and i do have that faint ticklish feeling on the soles of my feet when i wear footwear, about 3-4 times on the scalp, nose sometimes feel itch same with my temples (but they strangely stops during the night, which seems to be my biggest contra compared to most people), and i feel occasional tingle/tickle around my fingertips.

there has been an increase of cherry angiomas (that or bite marks) and some faint brown spots, but they are not itchy and there are no sores or lesions on me. less than 5 thin papercut-like marks, only one i accidentally scratched and bleed.

i live in a single person room in a condo (my landlord has a dog but it never gets into my room and my other housemate is a nurse but i never do laundry at home; either outside or handwash them myself)

i heard black moulds and the likes will show similar symptoms and due to condensation, my AC leaks onto my non-lacquered wooden flooring and the bathroom ceiling was taken down some times ago and it exposes the rusty piping. i have a normal hygiene level; shower after i come back and wash hair at least every 3 days (now i wash everyday).

maybe i need to change sheets more regularly but my father and brother who spend nights over doesn't seem to have any problems. i did not change any products i use in the last 6 months.

i heard mould attracts some types of mites and if the spores are on us, it could attract the mites as well. i am considering dust mite because my bed and mattress are not my own and there are some parts of the room that i can't clean unless i strip every piece of furniture.

i am going to go back home in a few months and going to see a dermatologist this week but i heard a lot of problems with doctors about this.

i am very confused and have considered everything from athelete's foot, Cholinergic Urticaria, full body candida, liver, anxiety (which i have now because of this), stress, nerves, etc.

the one i am afraid the most is scabies because i can't bear the thought of spreading it to someone else and also because i have a phobia of bugs. everyone keeps telling me to stop thinking about it but i can't.

by the way i have what i think is a non-severe atopic dermatitis on top of my right foot and dry skin. i rarely use moisturizer before.

i've ruled out bed bugs and other types of mites (i know there is a rat in office and my boss kids' have some pet lovebirds but they are mostly on the other floor), but hey i'll take that over scabies.

so far, barring my mom, who shares allergies with me and her own mother, no one else seem to itch, even my colleague with whom i share daily physical contact.

at the moment, i only took norit (anti poison), some light sleeping pills (i can sleep without but not always the best without), and apply olive/clove oil before i go to sleep. took some magnesium and iron, as well as vit C too.

any advise would be great at this point.


shar57 on May 10, 2017:

Hi Dee,

Yes it sad that's drs seem to have their own agenda.

BUT, one thing I have learned about these bugs, whether they be scabies or bird or rat mites or something different is our immune systems play a HUGE role in this crazy scabie thing.

you could also have a skin fungus in addition to scabies or bird mites.

Fungus feeds off of sugar.

Fungus creates the same crawly stinging biting sensation as the mite.

You might concider looking for a moisture problem in your house.

Or maybe their was one at work. A leaky roof not big enough to be noticed, but still creating the perfect conditions for fungus or mold.

Well fungus and mold attract some of the microscopic critters.

If you been breathing in mold or fungus spores then u most likely have this systemically-

Through out your hold body. Inside and outside. Then the critters come.

There is the possibility that some of your belongings were infested at work. Or the Entos. daughter could be a carrier of bird mites but not being affected by them.

There is SO much we don't know and sadly the doctors ARE NOT HELPING US!!!

But please concider building ur immune system back up.

Plus the treatment that is supposed to kill these, is So hard on our bodies.

Bug killers are neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are designed to kill.even if they don't kill us right away they do take a toll.

Watch ur carb intake. Fruit and fruit juices too.

There really is no need for fruit juices unless u don't have any teeth lol. the whole fruit is always much better and not as high calorie as fruit juice.

Try not to get upset. Even if u weren't dealing with weight

Issues. I'd bet this dr wouldn't have helped u anyway or believed u for much longer anyway.

Seems to be a common problem with this skin/ bug issue.

Dee on March 15, 2017:

In first experienced the beginnning of scabies on my last day of work at a museum where an entomologists daughter had infested my personal belongings with scabies mite as a spiteful going away gift. No I can not prove it but I became itchy on the inside of my forearms the moment I picked up my box of belongings to leave the office. That was 5 years ago and these bloody scabies keep coming back. It has ruined my life. I am allergic to dust mites so I get 6-8 weeks of intemse painful itching and insomnia and the reaction to Lyclear cream is unbelievable. I am right now awake at 1am unable to sleep with crawling skin. I would take my own life to stop this itching. If it went away permanently I could cope but I have moved house, thrown out my belongings, started afresh, only to end up back here again. I can not get a medical practitioner to take me seriously. For some reason they are more obsessed with my obesity than interested ij helping me with this skin affliction. I have put on 50kg stressing over this condition. Life has become horrific.

recently diagnosed on February 18, 2017:

One week ago we, the whole family was diagnosed with scabies. Apparently contracted originally through my husbands job. He ha had symptoms for a little while. Went to the doctor n was diagnosed^ with excema. Wrong diagnoses. My daughter and I started to have the same symptoms. So I took her and me the doctor. Excema again. But she did refer us to the dermatologist who did the final diagnoses. So one week after the first treatment, we are still experiencing some inching, but like all before, its to be expected. But I have had experience with other little critters, lice, experiences with my daughter from a daycare. But that led me to alot of research. I found the cure for that through Neem oil. It worked. So with that thought I went to work on a little more research and found out it can work on the scabies mites. I thought Try it. So this is what I did. After the initial doctor treatment, I made up a neem lotion with the neem and another essential oil, for smell. Yes the was residual inches from treatment. So the first thing was do what the the doctor said to do. Second I used the lotion. Everyone took a shower every night after and exfoliated really good. Applied the lotion from chin to toes like the precribed. The neem lotion has helped subside the inching in all of us. The neem from what I read n researched is a natural insecticde. It is a contraceptive for this and some other bugs. So after one week of so far of this, our skin looks good and healing any sores. We are taking our second treatment in two days and after we will start back on the neem lotion again. The lotion is a mix of aloe gel, Vitamin E lotion, neem, make it strong, and I put either tea tree for healing ore lavender to help the smell. Has to made up daily. After 4 days, my daughter, is doing well n the skin looks good. As well as us adults. Neem has alot of healing properties. Please note, I have done what most have done in sanitzing the home and laundry. Now it is a wait and see to see if this works. Just my daughter not iching and healing tells me something. If your want to look up neem oil, there are websites out there that have a lot of good information. Thought I would share.

Bob Jansen on December 12, 2016:

Just an update on my last blog. Its about a week later, and my poor immune system is clearly reacting to the mite garbage I have not removed with an extensive tender rash that tickles. I have probably also done some damage to my skin with the peroxide applications to debride the mite residue from the opened burrows: peroxide is terrible for wound healing because it kills cells indiscriminately. However, after three weeks, the largest evacuated wound site has finally lost the white bed lining altogether, although whether this is due to peroxide or my immune system, or both, is unknown. Hopefully now normal healing will start to happen.

I am treating the rash with dry skin lotion and soap and water cleaning. I am distressed to learn from other bloggers reports that the rash may last for weeks. I am watching for new sites closely, and there are one or two tiny ones every day. Still, I am hesitant to continually use RID (or permethrin) with so many open wounds, and I think the rash may be partially a result of so many insecticide uses. Boy, damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

BTW I would strongly recommend against any readers doing the debriding I described unless they have had some experience in this kind of work. A normal bathroom is far from sterile, and staph infections can kill, especially if you are elderly. If you are contemplating removing the mite detritus, please first watch some YouTube videos on changing wound dressings so you can get a feel for maintaining a sterile environment.

Robert Jansen on December 07, 2016:

My half century with the scabies mite

When I was about 25 years old I met a nice girl at a coffee shop in San Francisco, and somehow we ended up in her room on the floor in her sleeping bag. It was the summer of love, 1967, and that sort of thing happened then, especially if you were 25 years old. A few days later, I noticed some tiny red dots on my skin, and itching ensued. Eventually I realized I had contracted scabies. Now this was before the internet made it easy to look things like this up, but luckily I worked at the UCSF medical library at the time, and so I looked up skin parasites and got some Kwell shampoo at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic. It turns out scabies was epidemic in the Summer of Love.

Now it is official medical dogma that the scabies mite cannot live on its own for more than a few days, and I had killed all the ones on me and my clothes, so that should have been the end of it. But the mite has maintained a periodic presence in my life since then, showing up whenever my personal hygiene slacks a bit. I lived in California for most of that time and always had a swimming pool and Jacuzzi at my disposal. The hot chlorinated water seemed to keep the critters at bay, but whenever I was away from the water for a few days the little red spots would reappear. I discovered that over the counter RID (0.33% Pyrethrum) worked just as well as prescription Elimite (5% Permethrin), and for all those years, I would use RID in the shower when the little red pinpricks appeared. They would turn brown afterward, and that was that. I had no clear idea what was going on under the red dots. Since they came back periodically for many years, it seemed like they must have survived on my body. I suppose I could have contracted them from an outside source each time, probably once a year on average, but that seems improbable. My pool experience controlled them, I am guessing, but how could they survive all that RID and Chlorine?

Well, I am 73 now, and for the past few years I have not have a pool or even a regular bathtub, only a shower. For the past year I have had some vascular problems, an apparent blood clot in my leg, and I neglected to shower regularly, sometimes going a couple of weeks between showers. I live alone and I was preoccupied. This lack of personal hygiene was very unusual for me, but old age is full of unusual things, I am finding. At any rate, the scabies mites reappeared in strength. I got some RID and started showering every day using it. I washed the sheets, etc. This always worked in the past, but this time one or two of the red dots on my belly didn’t turn brown right away. They stayed bright red, which I took to mean the critter was still alive under there. I took a tweezers and nipped at the little red drop, and was amazed to find that there was a mite in a pouch in it. I had a cuticle nipper and nipped the little bugger off. Once it was off, I daubed some hydrogen Peroxide on the wound and it foamed up nicely, debriding the wound of foreign bodies as it is supposed to do. There were little black things and white puffy surround, so I tweezed the black stuff out and nipped the white annulus which didn’t hurt at all, which I surmised was because it was not me. It turns out there was a much larger burrow underneath the red dot, almost the size of a dime, coated with a white substance and filled with little dark stuff, things. I continued tweezing and nipping and using peroxide until all the black things, eggs and feces I think, were out, and I also tried to nip the numb burrow lining as well. As I got down to the bed I started hitting nerves and it hurt like hell. I began to realize that the mite had developed a barrier that prevented me from feeling its movements, that the burrow was lined this way, except for a couple of capillaries that fed into it through the white lining. Clever parasite had a well insulated home with running blood. If there was a “home” like this under every little red dot, I was supporting a whole neighborhood of mites. I investigated other dots that had remained red after being shampooed. I nipped off the pouch, which was in the red dot, and applied peroxide, which turned the rest of the burrow white on the edges. Some burrows were small, and some were as large as the first one I had opened. I continued to shower and use RID liberally, and after a week or so of this onslaught, I think I got most of them. But RID doesn’t kill the eggs, so I am continuing the shampoo treatment for a couple of weeks. I may switch to something stronger, i.e. 5% permethrin, if there is any resistance.

According to the literature, when the eggs hatch, the “nymphs” come to the surface and look for a mate. The pregnant female then makes her own burrow. So the smallest red dots were new burrows, and the larger red dots were old burrows. I did not want to open all of them up, it makes a large open wound each time, although it does remove the eggs and fecal material which helps my poor immune system cope. I take out the garbage, in effect, but at the expense of some tissue removal and bacterial exposure. I found that nipping off the pouch early leaves almost no crater, the new mom hasn’t had time to make it yet. Scabbing on the burrows I have opened up seems to be prevented by the burrow lining, which my body apparently has trouble breaking down. This makes sense, since it would have been already removed if my body could have done so. I help it along by periodically hitting it with peroxide, which seems to help break it down chemically. I realize that all the burrows I have not exposed will have their linings remain intact even though the adult mites are dead. I wonder if the eggs and fecal material will not be removed because of this lining.

I was a professional medical research scientist but I cannot find anything on the internet on how to deal with this problem of the apparently impervious burrow lining of the scabies mite. Physically removing it using surgery as I have done on a few sites seems impractical since opening each and every burrow would leave dozens of scars. The only treatment seems to be to exterminate the mites with insecticide and leave the burrows intact, full of protected eggs residue and feces. Yuck. The literature talks about post-scabies immune system reactions, and I am not surprised, given all the crap the mite leaves behind. I wonder if the protected burrows can harbor viable eggs, since my life experience is that my recurring scabies have somehow taken up permanent residence in my body and will opportunistically re-infect when circumstance allow.

I have not solved this problem, but I thought I would add my experience to the others on this site.

Bob Jansen, Ph.D.

Tom on September 08, 2016:

Great writing. Thanks

Tia on November 14, 2015:

Hello! I am new here! I have experienced the sensation of crawling and itchiness on my body last year and I thought it was scabies, I was treated with anti histamine and it simply went away after 3 months. This year, once again, just last few days I start to experience the same symptoms! Along with a rash around my breast just exactly like last year! But I live with my parents and elder sisters! They don't have any symptoms of crawling sensation except my eldest sister that claims to have a persistent itchy feet. I'm wondering if my eldest sister have scabies and infected me but can I ask you, is it possible to have scabies JUST on the feet with no rash? I have been feeling crawling sensations around my nose and scalps and ear lobes but after taking a hot shower, the symptoms subsided. I even feel something going in my eye making me itchy and blurry. This all started after I felt itchy on my hands near my wrist. I am wondering if it is but I had the SAME symptoms last year and it miraculously went away! Is it POSSIBLE for scabies to end their life cycle on their own? How many percentage of possibility that what I am experiencing is scabies? Thank you! Hope to get a reply!:)

U.K. Sufferer on November 04, 2015:

Samoa you are a truly amazing person! To still be helping others after going through it yourself! I got I from a boy I slept with a few months ago & it was hell I literally went insane! Went on an absolute mad one with it, bagged everything up, wore gloves, never wore anything twice, froze my purse etc every night & alternated 3 nightly intervals in different rooms (the house I was staying in was very large, so 4 spare rooms to use)

I didn't experience any itching on my scalp or face until after the first permethrin treatment, after this I kept itching on the scalp (I think those was due to P) I have done X amount of treatments and even stayed in hotels since and I still get bumps and the occasional itch, I had all the necessary blood tests & STI tests all came back negative.

I believe that I am cured but the psychological effect it has on you is immense! I've done the whole leave the house thing & brought clothes that I used and dispensed off after use & left my home for 4 days (mites would have died in the home as they can't survive for more than 72 hours) I'm now back & have followed my regime strictly. I'm doing my last P treatment this Sunday coming, then doing the isolation of clothes and cleaning for 4 days after then that's it for me I'm guna give myself a break & hope for the best! All I can say is write yourself out a plan, stick to it do the treatments at the right time in the right way, keep your health in tip top shape - take your vitamins etc & really believe that you're getting rid of them else they hold on to you forever!!

Samoa6 (author) from San Diego on June 08, 2015:

Hi Sue,

It's very difficult to tell, even for a doctor. If I were you, I would re-do the treatment the correct way because as it stands, I trust the permethrin killed all the live mites that were on you but it would not have killed any eggs that may have been burrowed during your treatment days. This is the reason for waiting one week, i.e. give enough time for all eggs to hatch after the first treatment but do not allow them enough time to mature and lay their own eggs, starting the cycle all over again.

Sue on June 08, 2015:

Hello there,

I was told that I had scabies. My treatment was the permethrin cream, but my health provider had me treat 2x's but back to back...I thought was a bit strange. I still itch very much...mostly in my groin area, but some on my hands and wrist yet. Do you think the treatment worked, even if she had me do it one day and then the next? Very upset!!

Debbie Carey from Riverton, KS, USA on January 15, 2015:

Wow....amazed to find so many others who have experienced this. We are currently scabies free for 2 months and my husband still has itching and irritated skin. We used the Permethrin 5% twice (7 days apart) and have taken baths with 1 cup of added bleach every day since. My skin has NEVER been so soft and clear as it is now. Hubby had an EXTREME case and is well on the mend, bu